If you have acquired a fair bit of coding and programming knowledge you may now be thinking of starting your first coding project. The fun bit about coding is the ability to create whatever your imagination dreams of and the possibilities are endless. If you have some basic knowledge of coding you could choose to create a websites, an app, or whatever is relevant to your passions and interests. Undertaking a coding project is also a good way to gain valuable experience so read on to find out our 5 steps for starting your first Coding project:
Decide on a Coding Project
The first step in planning your coding project is obviously deciding what you want to build. As mentioned earlier, the possibilities of what you can make are endless and the decision is entirely up to you. You could choose your project to be a useful online tool, a fun gaming app, a website, or a digital solution to a problem. For most people the best results always come when they work on something they’re really passionate about.
If you have been learning coding you will want to put your new skills into practice. This is where your first coding project comes in. Have you spotted a gap in a niche you’re interested in, or would you like to share your love of sport, art or music with the world? – Answering questions such as these can help you decide on a coding project you will be proud to work on.
Coding Project Ideas:
If you’re struggling to decide on what you would like to make on your first coding project see below for a few ideas to help you get started.
- Build a Website: Building a website is a good way to practice any CSS and HTML you may have learnt. Designing and building your very own website is a simple project that’s great for coding beginners. Websites can be anything like a photo gallery, a fan page, an e-commerce store, a blog, and much more.
- Create an App: For those looking for a more challenging coding project; why not try creating an app. Apps can be developed for both the Android and Apples iOS platforms as well as web-based applications. Ideas include simple applications such as a timer to more complex builds, choose something you’re interested in!
- Contribute to Open Source Software: If you would rather use your newfound coding skills for good then you could choose to contribute your knowledge to an open source software project. Open source software is software which can be edited and modified by volunteering contributors. The experience you can gain from such work is invaluable; you will learn how to work on big coding projects with others as well as see coding and programming at work first-hand. If you would like to create your own software you can do so at GitHub.
2. Planning your Coding Project
Once you have settled on an idea for your coding project the next step is to plan how you are going to go about building your concept. Never rush into your coding project blindly. It may be tempting to jump straight in in the excitement of a new idea but by planning first you will have a better chance of success. Here’s how to plan your coding project:
- Formulate a schedule: The time it takes to complete your coding project depends on how ambitious your plans are. Formulating a schedule will help you allocate time for writing the required code, debugging and refining your build.
- Set up a Text Editor: A Text editor is a program used to write code. You should try out a few until you find the one you’re most comfortable with.
- Design the end result: Sketching out the design of the end result of your coding project is a good way to make sense of what you will need to do. This includes aspects such as appearance, main features, and its usability.
- Plan your code: Planning your code helps to make everything clearer and allows you to know exactly what code you should write. This will be the most important stage of your planning and coding project overall. A good idea is to break down your project into mini, or sub-functions. This allows you to focus on each aspect and not miss anything.
- Prepare for the Unexpected: Sometimes things can go wrong with your code. Prepare for such frustrations in order to be better equipped to deal with them.
3. How to Build your First Coding Project
Now that you have come up with a coding project idea and you have planned everything out, its time to start writing some code! Utilise the coding knowledge you have learnt and following the plan you set out in step 2 above. You’ll be able to know how your code needs to be structured already because of it.
4. Testing and Debugging
Building a coding project involves much more than that however, as all that code will also need testing and refining. Your experience will grow as you research why something is not working to find out why, as well as how to fix it. This makes testing and debugging your coding work an important part of any projects you work on. Always remember that bugs are a normal part of coding even for highly experienced coders.
Fixing any bugs that you find during testing simply refers to editing your code to ensure it works as it should. Thankfully there are plenty of resources, tools and advanced techniques that you can use to help you with your project. Useful coding tools include:
- Twitter Bootstrap: Twitter bootstrap is a intuitive,highly accessible front-end design framework that makes building mobile-first websites easier.
- GitHub: GitHub is a great way to share and get valuable feedback on your coding project.
5. Finishing and Deploying your Coding Project
Once all the code has been written and you have eliminated any bugs as far as you can tell it is time to put the finishing touches to your project. Finishing touches include rewriting your code to make it shorter and reduce your file size as well as the aesthetics of your build.
Once you are happy with what you have created the final step starting your first coding project is deployment. Deploying your project means finally releasing your work for others to use. If you have made a website you will need to launch it and make it live on the internet. Apps have to be deployed in Apples App store for iPhones and/or google’s Play Store for Android devices.
To help your project gain traction and users consider sharing it on online coding communities such as GitHub, on social media, and relevant forums. Be sure to work hard to promote your work and put your coding project to great effect. Good Luck!